There seems no way around having to write about President-elect #Donald Trump these days, especially with there being only eight days left before he’s inaugurated on January 20. He’s keeping busy himself, what with his recent first ever press conference Wednesday January 11 when he accepted the possibility of Russian hacking but tore into CNN for working along an allegation that Russia was planning to blackmail him. But let’s not have that overshadow one other important issue for the incoming man in the White House: what he means to do with his position and business holdings in the #Trump Organization. He’s laid out a possible process to divest himself of these in line with the prevention of “#conflict of interest”, but so far some quarters aren’t entirely convinced it’ll work.
Passing the torch?
In that same press conference held at Trump Tower, the president-elect revealed that he means to hand over his holdings in the family business empire to a trust that’s managed by his sons Donald Jr. and Eric. This is in order to isolate himself, as the new President of the United States, from the affairs of the Trump Organization, which has a hand in everything from real estate, hotels, golf clubs and numerous licensing agreements. One of Trump’s lawyers, Sheri Dillon, elaborated on this plan to the press, saying that the incoming head of state will transferred his assets, both in the business and financing, to his sons’ trust before Inauguration day, thus avoiding “conflict of interest” between his business mogul and Presidential duties.
That said, while Trump is resigning leadership in the Trump Organization in favor of his grown-up sons, he’s not planning on selling his stake in the company. And while he said that there will be no business talk between him, Don Jr. and Eric during his time in office, he’ll still receive regular profit reports on how the Organization is doing, and will continue entering into any deal it’s interested I with the United States government that Trump will soon be heading (pending approval from a new ethics adviser). Thus ethics advisers of previous Presidents – both parties even – along with watchdog groups observing government transactions have so far been less than impressed with Trump’s measures, which to them come off as halfhearted.
Conflict of interest
In their viewpoint, Trump retaining his ownership stake in spite of divesting control will still see the Trump Organization’s profit motive going on to guide is policies as President. To truly eliminate conflict of interest, ethics lawyers recommend that Trump liquidate his holdings too, with the proceeds going over to a blind trust to control them without his say in how. At the latest, all unfinished deals have been ended by the Organization in this vein.